GW Basketball Teams Enter Spotlight at #GWMediaDay
Men's & Women's Basketball Coaches, Student-Athletes Meet Nation's Eighth-Largest Media Market on Tuesday
Oct. 23, 2013
GW Athletics hosted Basketball Media Day in front of a media throng that numbered in the dozens in the Champions Club at the Charles E. Smith Center on Tuesday.
Local and national media members alike posed questions to men's Head Coach Mike Lonergan and women's Head Coach Jonathan Tsipis, while student-athletes Isaiah Armwood, Maurice Creek, Patricio Garino, John Kopriva, Kevin Larsen, Joe McDonald and Kethan Savage on the men's side, and Danni Jackson, Jonquel Jones, Chakecia Miller, Megan Nipe and Brooke Wilson of the women's team took questions from media and fans via social media and GWsports.com's live stream.
The afternoon served to showcase some of the dynamic individuals and personalities of GW Athletics, but also to preview what will be an exciting hoops season ahead in Foggy Bottom.
Among the many reasons to be excited about the 2013-14 GW men's basketball season is that the campaign marks the program's 100th season of intercollegiate competition. Entering his third season at the helm, Coach Lonergan's Colonials are primed to make a jump in the league and in turn make noise on the national college hoops scene. GW will be led by Armwood, the 6-foot-9 forward and preseason A-10 Second Team All-Conference selection, who paced the team in scoring, rebounding, blocks and dunks during an impressive debut season in 2012-13.
Armwood will be surrounded by a trio of rising sophomores who started nearly every game for the Colonials as freshmen in 2012-13 - in McDonald at the point, Garino on the wing and Larsen in the post. The three second-year standouts are poised to play significant roles not only in 2013-14, but in building success for the program beyond. Add returning sophomore starter Savage and Creek, an Indiana transfer and graduate student, and the Colonials have a solid and battle-tested nucleus capable of competing with the best in the conference and country.
For the women, second-year Head Coach Tsipis is looking not only to return the storied program to its nationally ranked history, but also to chase the legacy of one of his coaching mentors in Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw, under whom Tsipis coached in back-to-back national championship games in 2011 and 2012. After guiding GW to its first win in the A-10 Championship tournament since 2008 and its most overall and conference victories since 2009, Coach Tsipis will look to a strong returning nucleus infused with remarkable new talent this season.
Graduate students Jackson, Nipe and Wilson, along with junior guard Miller return, while Coach Tsipis and his staff added some highly decorated newcomers for the 2013-14 season. Shannon Cranshaw was the 2013 Florida Player of the Year, while Hannah Schaible, another Florida native, led her high school team to three straight state titles and a pair of national championships. In addition, Caira Washington is a local product out of Georgetown Day School who earned Washington Post All-Met honorable mention. The Colonials will be an even bigger force to be reckoned with come mid-December, when Jones - a Clemson transfer - becomes eligible to take the court for the Buff and Blue. Jones was one of the top high school players in the region and nation when she came out of nearby Riverdale Baptist a year ago, and she will be an immediate force down low.
With the men's exhibition home opener on Saturday, Nov. 2 and the women's first-look a day later on Nov. 3, basketball season is looming at GW and Tuesday's Media Day provided an up-close sneak peak.